Dallas Stars vs New Jersey Devils Preview: Lineups, Storylines, Game Time, and How to Watch
Find this one early at 6:00pm on Fox Sports Southwest PLUS
The Dallas Stars took a 6-3 defeat in Columbus on Tuesday night and turned any resultant momentum right back around yet again in beating the Nasvhille Predators Thursday night in front of a sold-out home crowd.
It's what they do this year, apparently.
A season ago the Stars' third period antics were the things of tears. This season they lead the league with 56 tallies in the final 20 minutes, and that was on fully display as they turned it on late against Pekka Rinne and the Predators in a 5-1 win.
They lost Val Nichushkin to a day-to-day malady, and Ales Hemsky the game before that as he landed on IR- This will change the chemistry tonight and the Rufflization of certain groups as the Stars try to find a secondary scoring line without breaking up Benn, Seguin and Sharp, but the inevitable may be coming.
Radek Faksa could possibly draw back into the lineup tonight with those injuries on the table. A more defensive minded presence could help the Stars as they appear to face more of what was on the docket Thursday against the Predators.
Nashville tried to bog down that game a bit on New Year's Eve, but when the Stars finally broke through for two goals late in the second it forced the Preds to open up, and the Stars took advantage.
With yet another defensive minded team here tonight in the New Jew Jersey Devils, the Stars will look to make improvements in focus and discipline to avoid repeats of the fiasco an Nationwide Arena.
Like so many of their Eastern brethren the Devils have not had tremendous success against the West, and certainly not against the Central. Against the league's better half they're 5-7-1 overall and just 2-4-0 against the Central so far this year.
No team in the East has won fewer games against the West this season, though the Stars do owe the Devils, as two of those victories have come against Chicago. As the Stars have Toronto, so do the Blackhawks have New Jersey, it would seem.
The Devils have points in four of their last five games entering this one, albeit against exclusively Eastern Conference opposition. They've done well of late but have struggled to score on the whole this year, including 14 contents in which they failed to get beyond just a single goal scored- And 20 games in which their total could not eclipse two.
Overall they rank 26th in the league at 2.32 goal per game, but are among the stingiest (5th) at just 2.32 against per contest.
(Among those leaders, the Washington Capitals at just 2.11 and the Los Angeles Kings at 2.19. Far behind those would-be conference leaders are the Stars at 2.46)
They carry a genuine Star-killer in their ranks, too, by the way, in the form of #13...
New Jersey was off last night, as was most of the league, and is coming off one of their biggest wins of the year on Wednesday in a 3-0 drubbing of the Ottawa Senators. Schneider stopped all 36 shots he faced in the loss while the Devils put just 21 on the Ottawa net.
From Stars PR:
RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL
The Dallas Stars begin a three-game Eastern Conference road trip with a contest against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Dallas went 2-0-0 last season against the Devils, including a 3-2 shootout victory on Oct. 24, 2014 in Newark. Forward Jason Spezza tallied the game-deciding goal in the shootout to secure the team's first win on the road against New Jersey since the 2010-11 campaign. Captain Jamie Benn (1-0=1) and forward Patrick Eaves (1-0=1) tallied goals for Dallas, with four different Stars players registering one assist including Cody Eakin, Alex Goligoski, Tyler Seguin and Spezza. Goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 25-of-27 shots faced to record the victory for Dallas.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
Stars captain Jamie Benn recorded two points (1-1=2) on New Year's Eve against the Nashville Predators and now has points in seven straight games (4-7=11), tied for the longest active point streak in the NHL with teammate Patrick Sharp. He has recorded an assist in seven consecutive games, setting a new career-best assist streak and owns the longest active assist streak in the NHL. Benn ranks second in League with 52 points (24-28=52) and his 24 goals are the most in the League. He also leads the NHL with a +23 plus/minus rating. The native of Victoria, B.C. finished the 2015 calendar year as the highest scoring player in the NHL with 107 points (48-59=107). Benn had 55 points (24-31=55) in 46 games during the 2015 portion of the 2014-15 season and this season has 52 points (24-28=52) in 39 games. Benn has tallied at least one point in 42 of his last 54 games (36-41=77) dating back to last season. Since being named captain before the start of the 2013-14 season, Benn has tallied a point in 135 of 202 games (93-125=218), the most games with a point of any NHL skater over that span. The captain has points in four of his last six games against New Jersey, including tallying a goal in two of his last three outings (2-0=2).